I never dreamed of being a rat when I lived the party life. That was death to friendships. It wasn’t only that people would isolate you permanently, it was that I would never be able to look at myself in the mirror again. No one wants anything to do with a tattle-tale. We alcoholics and addicts were a family, we had principles and standards.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints..” Eph.6:18
To grow spiritually, we need to pray. I have found this to be for me, the hardest spiritual exercise. It isn’t praying I find hard at all. What is difficult is to have a set time that belongs to me and “Abba,” free from distractions and interruptions. I have no problem praying as I go about my day. I may pray for my family, for social network request, for requests on the churches prayer chain, for those I work with, those I pass as I drive, those I work with in recovery, etc. It is my determination to spend time just talking with God in humility, on my knees, that I find hard to accomplish but necessary to grow into the stature of Christ.
“Every day will I bless You, and I will praise Your name forever. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.” Ps.145:2-3
I don’t want to come to God in prayer empty-handed. I want to hallow His name, praise His mercy and grace, His steadfast love, and constant watchful eyes to defend and protect me from danger and evil. The book of Psalms reveals so much of God’s character. If you are like me, to praise and worship God before asking for anything in prayer, gives me the scriptural understanding that I have His attention. He inhabits my praise…in other words, that’s His address.
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed in accordance to Your Word.” Ps.119:9
This is my bread…daily. I love the Word more than anything in life. If you want to know God better, or at all, grab a Bible and devour it. I often hear others say,” I don’t understand it, so I have no interest in it.” There are several new paraphrase versions, the Message, Good News, NLT, etc., that anyone mentally competent can understand. It is spiritual competence that is the problem, in truth.
Putting these together, prayer is like a seed, fertilized by our praise and adoration to God, watered by the living Truth of His Word. Though I find a set prayer time difficult, I find it much easier after I fertilize the soil of spirituality with praise, and realize the goodness and purity of the One I am addressing. Reading the Word creates the environment to praise and honor God, and like a cycle, prayer makes me grow in my understanding of the Word.
If you struggle with any of these, ask God in sincerity to open your spiritual understanding, He will. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
The word slavery causes people to shutter as they think of people bound in chains, beaten, forced into labor. Anti-slavery activists have their hands full in these modern times with a reported 27 million people enslaved. As I read some of the details of this modern day evil; I realized slavery wasn’t a dark part of history, it is alive and well on planet Earth. Sadly, much of this slavery is within our own borders; in the inner-cities, young men and women kept against their will, held as prostitutes. How we need to pray for their liberation.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Friday night, the Celebrate Recovery meeting was a reminder to me how that slavery goes far beyond individuals being kept against their will. The 27 million is dwarfed in number when we consider the masses enslaved by their past hurts; abused from childhood, hung-up from being bullied and belittled, and those given to self-will, owning habits that are chains not easily broken. Many are the slave owners, self is enslaved to addictions that are destructive. In the final analysis, our ownership must be admitted, we cannot blame and point our finger at anyone for our remaining chained to any hurt, habit, or hang-up. Freedom is in sight the moment we find our way to recovery, by God’s grace. So why do so many stay in their personal slavery?
That question has many answers. Some aren’t ready to surrender because they have not experienced enough pain. Some have a fear that freedom is enslavement. Really? Yes, they feel they will never enjoy parties, lose old friends, have to live a morbid existence and follow rules…they find this boring. Others that struggle with depression, past abuse, work-a-holism, etc., are still in denial, “I drink everyday, but never get out of control,” they think. Some think because they have tried and failed over and over, it won’t ever work. these enjoy times of freedom, but like the dog returning to eat his own vomit, they return to their enslavement. Everyone, yes, everyone has something that binds them. We all need to be liberated. Do not think that worry, pride, gossip, and lying are not enslaving, or that you do not need help to be free of…they are just as deadly. These will kill you spiritually.
Of everything I mentioned above, there is another evil that transcends all of the others, and goes relatively unnoticed. It is the one thing we must be very wary of, once we have accepted truth, and now live in freedom; Selfishness. It is so easy to enjoy release from our bondage that we forget it is a gift that you and I must give. Complacency is the beginning of a whole new way of dying. Not sharing your freedom by giving that freedom away is terribly self-serving. Not wanting to, not feeling like it, too tired, are all mostly love of self deception, keeping you from the real joi de vivre, joy of life. We who have this wonderful gift from God, given from others, can stifle spiritual growth, and replace the chains of past addictions, hurts, habits, and hang-ups, to serve self, the worst of slave owners.
“The time is always right to do the right thing.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are liberators, emancipators, we have a gift to give. We may not be able to walk into the inner-city house of prostitution and demand the freedom of the enslaved. We may not be able to go into the third-world countries and tell them to let the slaves go free. We can pray. We can pray en-masse, and in agreement in Jesus name. We must, once free from our chains, free others, serve in some capacity even if it is praying continually. But do not put yourself back into slavery. Joy, peace, love, and freedom awaits you.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
The latest installment of “Breaking Dawn” comes out today surrounded by more hoopla than the previous episodes. This is to be the last of the series, which explains the hoopla. I have watched the previous segments and halfway through the last one I went outside to watch the grass grow, finding that much more interesting. Well, that’s just me, movies can hold my attention when they seem somewhat interesting. Of course, I am really not a sequel fan. Very few have beaten the original. I say Rambo 1, Rocky 1, were great movies. The Karate Kid 2, was better than 1, I thought. Don’t ever, please try to make a sequel of Cool Hand Luke like the attempt of Gone With the Wind. This generation of movie makers are lost without making a film without sex, foul language, and some absurd chase scene.
Our desire for the super-human has completely possessed our modern thinking. To live for centuries, amassing wealth and possessions, with only having to take blood for food is intriguing to people these days, especially if you are anorexic. Nevermind that vamps have always been evil murdering creatures in history, today they are swell creatures you can get to know and have a personal relationship with. They can even grant you eternal life, but you have to die first. Does that sound remotely familiar to you? It is to me, another attempt to replace humanity in the place of God, the sacrifice of Christ, and our dying to self to live. There is something else to consider, because this post will be very unpopular to fans of the movie, (which I am not running down), and that is being aware of the times. The time we live in of sequels in motion pictures seems to be promising of a sequel never to be repeated.
In the first episode, the hero was treated badly, despised by leaders and even his own family. He went to the poor and downcast and gave them what he had. He taught them how to live, and how to serve each other. The ones that found him detestable finally got him, and though he could have gotten out of the dire strait he was in, he gave the ultimate service to mankind, and sacrificed himself to cover their obstinate rebellion. The news is that he didn’t stay dead, he rose from death. and left to return to his home and work on the sequel…his return. I believe, for those interested, it is due out any day now. The difference will be, the sequel will portray Him as He really is, King and Lord. Here’s a breakdown of how it went in part 1, and how He is portrayed in part 2:
PART ONE: The Coming of the Lamb
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross.” Phil.2:5-8
PART TWO: The Return of the King
“Therefore God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and those on the earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.
I watched the many people lining up for the movie, dyed black hair, tats everywhere, so excited about this flick that is created in someone’s mind, just a story, mere fiction. I saw their children in line with them talking about the movie and the previous parts as though it was all that mattered in life. The real show is coming, the star has eyes like flames of fire, His countenance is like lightning, and in the opening scene he roars out of Zion to gather His bride, those covered in His blood, that didn’t just stand in line for Him, or have His name tattooed on their arm, but they gave their hearts and will over to Him, and trusted Him that this day would come…I can hardly wait!
I would love to see everyone and their children in line for this event, but they aren’t, yet. I think it sad that the little ones know all there is to know about werewolves, vampires, and all that is evil, but their parents have no intent of teaching them about the King. As the day approaches for this sequel to arrive, we must let them know. I’m asking God to help me present Him to everyone around me, in word and deed. It isn’t dawn, it’s 11:55pm, midnight approaches…are you ready?
Thanks for reading, god bless and keep you all.
I was very frustrated, actually enraged by a recent event, where an Ohio law placed me in a very difficult place. I made a statement on Facebook, which I truly believe is factual, and I emailed the governor’s website, looking for someone to hear my plea. And when I finished my rage…I remembered the Lord my God, and strengthened myself in Him. The advice I give to others, run to God when you get into trouble, don’t run from Him, was the last place I visited.
I took my own advice and looked to Him for help. I will not give you the details of what happened just yet. I can tell you that ever since I finished my upcoming book, there has been such spiritual opposition,such heavy evil opposition, that I could not have continued if God had not given me the grace to do so. I thank Him for bringing me to this point, for all He has done, and for what I see Him doing now.
I haven’t changed my thoughts regarding lost freedoms in this country. Nor do I feel that our voices should be silenced, and we become pacifists in relation to the evils of political actions that cause “we the people” to lose sight of what so many have given their lives for. No, we should, or I should, be more intent on seeing this country restored to our inherent belief, that in God we trust. I’m looking for restoration, not change. Those desiring change may not realize we are a divided people, they want all to change to their way of thinking, sorry, and please return to earth immediately, we need you here. I want to see us restored to having the ability to pursue life, liberty, and happiness…you know, like the Constitution says.
This recent event taught me that as a follower of Christ, I am to be in subjection to the law of the land. I am to be a man with integrity, loyalty, and honesty. I feel I hold to these doctrines of liberty, to a point. I do feel that laws that cause a believer to compromise truth, are to be questioned and challenged. In the book of Acts, the religious leaders had ordered the followers of Jesus, to stop preaching this gospel. Peter responded, We must obey God rather than men! Acts 5:29 (NIV) It is only of recent years that our government has stretched and twisted the law to where our tax dollars go to programs that are unjust, and unholy, and destructive to this nation. This was true in Peter’s time as well and they could not adhere to them all, like worshipping Caesar. Paul wrote these words:
Remind the people to be subject to the leaders and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, an to show true humility toward all men. Titus 3:1 (NIV)
This is how we are to present Christ to everybody, not shoot abortion drs, not to spew hatred at gays, not to condemn hookers, drug addicts/alcoholics, not to seek the demise of misled people-even politicians, but rather to give the grace shown to us through Christ, to them. God is the judge, He will reward us all by our works in this life. If you are a follower of Christ, take the time to read Paul, John, Peter, James, writings, on how we should conduct our lives. Then do it. Getting results to bring real change for me is in my surrendering my will to God’s will. If I am surrendered, I don’t need to fight, God does that for me. I can re-focus, re-center, and re-fuel on what He has promised as I conform to His will. The results He gets for me are far greater that my results from anger, complaining, and trying to convince others of my correct line of thought. In this recent experience, when I surrendered, strengthened myself in what He is able to do, peace followed. I placed Him in charge.
This morning, I surrendered again to Him, and went to face the giant. I went knowing He is Lord, He is with me, and I mentally blessed everyone I would meet before I met them. I have His favor. The results were completely wonderful, for everyone. I believe that their contact with me this morning changed their entire day for the good. Not because of who I am…because of whose I am. I am not saying that the lesson will never be repeated and I will have no more problems. I did learn to get results to manifest in my life, I have to go through the proper channels. First to God in the spiritual realm, and present the situation to Him, then as I do what’s necessary in the physical realm, He has prepared my way.
Thanks for reading everyone,God bless and keep you all. Keith